The Future of Brick-and-Mortar Retail Lies in Big Data and the Cloud

Over at Wired, Vish Ganapathy reports that Big-box retailers are using Big Data analytics hosted in clouds to learn more about their customers and to compete with the e-commerce segment.

Cloud computing involves a new way of thinking about data. In a cloud, a single server can host many virtual servers, slashing hardware costs. The virtual servers can scale on demand depending on the need for computer capacity. That’s very useful for retailers, whose businesses are notoriously seasonal. Automatically expanding capacity on Black Friday, for example, can reduce lines at checkout counters and ensure quick service.

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